Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Freezer Meal - Potato and Chickpea Curry Wraps

Potato and pea curry wrap  -

Are you one of the many people out there who are trying to cut back on their red meat consumption? To me, nothing can substitute for a great steak so I won't say this dish will make you forget your favorite tenderloin! But  potatoes and chickpeas do make a great vegetarian meal - even if you are not a vegetarian! This curry dish is quick and easy to prepare. I usually wrap them in a flour tortillas so I can freeze them and pull them out for a quick workday lunch. Even though I add mango chutney inside the lunch wraps, I also take a bit extra a long for extra flavour.

Of course, they are also great as a main dinner meal sans tortilla - easy, quick and delicious. Naan bread would make a great accompaniment so you can slop up the leftover sauce on your plate!

Potato and pea curry wrap  -


1.5 lbs potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chick peas
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 small jalepeno, diced
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup stock or water
1 cup peas
6 large soft tortillas
store bought mango chutney - optional (but really good)

What to do

  1. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes (don't peel them unless you want them that way).
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add mustard seeds and cook till they start to jump and pop.
  4. Add the onions and cook with low heat till soft. Stir frequently.
  5. Add the rest of the spices, salt, jalapeno, chickpeas and potatoes.
  6. Stir for a minute or two until everything is nicely mixed.
  7. Add water or stock. Stir. Cover.
  8. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are cooked and tender.
  9. Add the peas, cover pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  10. I like to mash up the mixture just a little - but up to you!
  11. Cool for 15 minutes.
  12. Take a tortilla and spread about a tbsp of chutney down the middle of the tortilla.
  13. Place about 1/2 - 2/3 cup potato mixture onto tortillas, over the chutney.
  14. Wrap like a burrito. If you need instructions on wrapping look here:
  15. Roll up finished wraps in plastic wrap and place on a cookie sheet.
  16. Place in freezer until ...well... all are frozen and then place them in a larger ziploc, if desired, and store in freezer until needed.
  17. To enjoy, simply microwave for two minutes or heated through.
  18. Throw some extra chutney in your lunch bag!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Orange Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie aka the Strawberry Citrus Squeeze
We woke up to snow this morning! Snow! Now, I know many of you are wondering what the big deal is but come on, this is Vancouver in late doesn't snow in late February in Vancouver. The last time I remember it snowing this late in February was three years ago.Of course, it won't last long before the rain asserts its dominance because this is Vancouver after all!
This smoothie is so simple but it is truly one of my favorite smoothies. Just strawberries, an orange, pineapple and water aka the Strawberry Citrus Squeeze. It is so refreshing and light tasting! To me, it's summer in a glass...if only I could find my sun glasses...and the sun....and it would stop snowing!

Makes 1 large smoothie.


4 strawberries
1/2 cup pineapple
1 medium orange, peeled
1 cup ice cold water


Throw in blender or Nutribullet and blend until smooth.

Other smoothies you should try:
Green Goodness
Avocado Strawberry Smoothie
Blueberry Mango Smoothie
Blueberry Banana Tofu Smoothie
Pomegranate and Kale Smoothie
Strawberry Muesli Smoothie
Detox Lemon Spinach Smoothie
Avocado Chocolate Smoothie

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chocolate Avocado Banana Bran Muffins
Don't be fooled into thinking these are your typical high sugar, low nutrient muffins. They are not! They are packed with fibre, whole grains, potassium, and other great nutrients - and they are DELICIOUS! You don't need  many chocolate chips to up the flavour of these muffins thanks to richness of the cocoa so I often will buy a small quantity of really good quality dark chocolate and chop it up into this recipe to maximize the flavours.

I make a batch of these every couple of weeks. I can easily individually wrap them and throw them in the freezer for snacks, breakfasts and any other time we need a bite on the go.The added bonus is that they act as a bit of an ice pack if the kids have other things like cheese or yogurt in their lunch bags!

Calories - approx 206 per muffin


1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (which has less protein than standard whole wheat flour, giving baked goods a more tender texture))
1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa
3/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup bran cereal
1 tbsp ground flax
1 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, or chopped good quality chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place milk and cereal in large bowl. Let sit 5 minute to soften cereal.
  3. Mix in egg, vanilla, flax, oil, mashed bananas and avocado until well combined.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Add flour mixture to cereal bowl. Stir until just combined.
  6. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Divide evenly amongst 12 muffin tins.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mango Lassi Smoothie

Mango Lassi Smoothie

This is a simple smoothie that has just enough spice to make drinkers take notice. Cardamom is one of my favorite baking spices and I also love it with mangos so it's perfect in this drink. Mango Lassis are great on hot summer days ... yes, I know that most of us are living in a deep freeze right now but winter can't last forever, can it???!!

Mango Lassi Smoothie


1 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup yogourt
1-1/2 cups milk
pinch or two of ground cardamom


Mix everything in your blender or Nutribullet until blended smooth and no big pieces of mango remain.

Other smoothies you should try:
Green Goodness
Avocado Strawberry Smoothie
Blueberry Mango Smoothie
Blueberry Banana Tofu Smoothie
Pomegranate and Kale Smoothie
Strawberry Muesli Smoothie
Detox Lemon Spinach Smoothie
Avocado Chocolate Smoothie

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Freezer Meal - Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

"Mom, what's for breakfast?"
"Mom, what's for lunch?"
"Mom, have you seen my library books?"
"Mom, I can't find my (insert his/her favorite piece of clothing)!
"Mom", "Mom", "Mom"....sound familiar???

Perhaps you are more organized than me or at least able to get up earlier but I always find mornings a bit crazy and too short! Getting two young kids up (they used to be early self-risers but lately we've had to wake them up - which they don't appreciate :) and trying to help get them ready, fed, lunches made and, of course, get ourselves ready is a challenge.

To help find ways to ease the morning rush, I've been trying to make freezable meals that my husband and I can grab in the morning. The kids don't have access to a microwave so these don't work for them but if your kids do these would be great.

If you have time add a little sour cream and salsa to your lunch bag!


1 roasted chicken
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large red pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 cup pre-shredded carrots
1 cup salsa
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup low fat cream cheese
10 whole wheat tortillas (10 inch)
1 tbsp oil


  1. Pull apart chicken and shred it. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. 
  3. Add onion, peppers, and onions. Saute for about 4 minutes.
  4. Add beans and chicken and saute for additional 3 minutes to heat through. 
  5. Add salsa and 1/3 cup cream cheese.
  6. Heat until salsa and cheese are hot and combined with mixture.
  7. Remove from heat. 
  8. Place one tortilla on cutting board.
  9. Spread a little cream cheese on it.
  10. Sprinkle about a tbsp of shredded cheese on top.
  11. Add large scoop of chicken mixture in a log shape in the middle of the tortilla.
  12. Add another tbsp of shredded cheese on top.
  13. On the short sides of the mixture, fold about an inch of tortilla onto mixture.
  14. Tightly roll the long sides of the burrito. (Watch this video if you need to see how it's done)
  15. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  16. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  17. Freeze.
  18. To reheat. Simply remove from plastic wrap and microwave for about 2 minutes - until filling is hot.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
To me, this smoothie tastes like chocolate pudding. In fact, if you cut down the milk to just 1 cup you could serve it as a healthy pudding! This is a great afternoon snack for the kids and adults since it will keep them full until dinner-thanks to the fiber in the avocado and strawberries. It also satisfies my mid-afternoon sweet craving!

I know some people stay away from avocados because of the fruit's high fat content as about 85% an avocado's calories are from fat. It's important to remember that the fat found in an avocado is mostly the good kind called monounsaturated fat (same as found in olive oil).

Did you know?

  • One avocado has 1/2 the recommended daily fibre for a woman? 
  • Many believe avocados have anti-inflammation properties.
  • The are also known as "alligator pears" due to the appearance of their skin and shape.
  • 1/2 of an avocado provides 25% of the daily recommended amount of folate we need.

The deep chocolate flavour is thanks to the cocoa. If your strawberries are quite sweet you won't need the honey but the ones I have are rather tart so a little extra sweetness is needed.

Makes 2 smoothies.


1 ripe medium avocado
1 heaping tbsp cocoa
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey (optional)
1 cup frozen strawberries


Place in blender or Nutribullet and blend until smooth.

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Other smoothies you should try:
Green Goodness
Avocado Strawberry Smoothie
Blueberry Mango Smoothie
Blueberry Banana Tofu Smoothie
Pomegranate and Kale Smoothie
Strawberry Muesli Smoothie
Detox Lemon Spinach Smoothie
Cranberry Orange Antioxidant Smoothie

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

California Sushi Salad

California Sushi Salad -

I don't think I had sushi until I moved to Vancouver. I was in my late teens, and had moved here to go to university. Having moved from Halifax, I was a small town girl in a big city world. I thought I knew a lot. I didn't. But I was open to new experiences and sushi was a part of that. I hated it. Seriously. Raw fish did nothing for me. Thankfully, as I "matured" I came to appreciate the flavours and textures of this culinary delight.  In fact, I've even made sushi at home but trust me it's worth the money to go out for properly rolled sushi. This is especially true in Vancouver where there are as many sushi restaurants as there are Starbucks (and there are a lot of Starbucks). Of course, there is a big difference between mediocre and great sushi but that's another story.

But this salad brings the flavours of a California roll into your home without the hassle of trying to roll it yourself!

To make sushi rice you can, as I did, use sushi rice seasoning or make your own. I used canned crab, avocado, cucumbers, and yellow peppers as garnish. I topped it with pickled onions and some crumbled seaweed. My husband went back for thirds and my son had seconds. For an easy yet impressive dish I highly recommend trying it out!

Makes 6 servings.


2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water (or as directed by rice instructions)
5 tbsp sushi seasoning
1 can crab (120 gr or about 1/2 cup)
1 avocado, sliced
2 medium yellow peppers, julienned
1/2 cup pickled onions (click here to see recipe)
1 english cucumber, cut in half length wise and then sliced thinly cross wise
1/2 large sheet roasted seaweed (optional), crumbled


  1. Place rice in strainer and rinse it under cold water until water runs clear. Drain.
  2. Add rice and water to a medium sized sauce pan.
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat and stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle sushi seasoning over rice, cutting through rice with a wooden spoon. This will break up any lumps of rice and distribute the vinegar evenly.
  7. Cool rice quickly with a fan (or in my case a piece of cardboard), gently stirring the rice a few times. 
  8. Once cooled divide amongst 6 bowls.
  9. Arrange avocado, peppers, onions and cucumbers on top of rice 
  10. Top with tbsp or so of crab.
  11. Sprinkle with seaweed if desired.
Note: You could add a dash of soy sauce before you add the crab if you'd like.
California Sushi Salad -

Monday, February 3, 2014

Detox Lemon Spinach Smoothie

Do you detox? Honestly, I don't... I think our bodies are set up to detoxify all by themselves. Of course, we tend to put  a lot of stuff into our bodies that it really doesn't need ... too much sugar, caffeine, refined flour etc etc. And I for one will not be giving up all of that! So, to me, this smoothie is my way of putting a few good things into my body to make up for the junk. It's especially good when I have a sweet craving. The heat from the chili flakes and the tartness of the lemon seem to make the sweet craving go away...usually :)

Detox Lemon Spinach Smoothie -

Makes two small servings.


2 cups spinach
1/2 c frozen  blueberries
juice of 1 lemon
1/8-1/4 tsp chili flakes (depending on how much spice you can take)
1 apple, quartered, skin on
1 cup of cold water or enough to cover fruits and veggies


Place everything in lender or Nutribullet. Blend until very smooth - about 1 minute.

Other smoothies you should try:
Green Goodness
Avocado Strawberry Smoothie
Blueberry Mango Smoothie
Blueberry Banana Tofu Smoothie
Pomegranate and Kale Smoothie
Strawberry Muesli Smoothie